Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Severity: Fantasy vs Reality

Ludwig and I aren't very big on role-playing in our private kink, but we want to try a few things in the future. With that plan comes an important question, though, which I would like to discuss with you today: How intense must / should / can a spanking be which is supposed to allow the spankee to enjoy the kinky role-play situation in which the spanking is embedded?

The reason for me to ask this question is this: I realised during past experiences that I don't seem to be able to mentally keep up a hot kinky fantasy when I'm really struggling to go through a spanking. With a gradual build-up and the chance to catch my breath in between the strokes it is okay, even if the spanking is challenging.

If it gets too hard, though, I get into some kind of “heroine / survival” mode. Which means there is no energy left to keep up any erotic fantasy and all that remains is me, the pain and the feeling that I have to be as brave as possible, which prevents me from letting go in that situation.

Love taps, on the other hand, don't work for me, either. If a spanking barely hurts at all, it is hard for me to pretend it does. It seems like I need a certain amount of pain to trigger my fantasies, especially if those fantasies are centred around a formal, non-sexual spanking scenario.

As the more regular readers of this blog know, I'm not into surviving a thrashing just to feel empowered afterwards. Feeling completely miserable during a spanking doesn't do it for me, even if the fantasy I'm playing out is one in which the spankee is punished.

In order to be hot and to give me a chance to let go, it seems to me that a real spanking in a role-play scenario must be challenging but still more bearable than its fantasy equivalent. One could say that the spanking has to be real but not too real... It seems that there must be a kind of ambiguity which allows me to keep up the fantasy that the spanking is real, but at the same time allows me to inhabit the hot fantasies which come along with it.

I think that this is a very hard job for a top! That's why I would like to ask our readers whether anyone has made similar experiences. How does role-playing work for you? Does the severity of a real spanking have to match the severity of your fantasy or does there have to be a difference between the two in order to make the real scenario work for you? And to the tops: How are your experiences with making a role-play scenario work? If you have any thoughts on the topic, I'll be glad to hear them!


Fenris said...

To be honest, my thoughts on this subject are mostly on a theoretical level as I haven't role-played or played much unfortunately, so those with more experience should feel free to correct me (decide for yourself if the pun is intended).
I think that the gap between a "realistic" punishment and an "enjoyable" experience becomes wider the more formal and judicial the scenario gets.
At least in my twisted mind, a spanking in a domestic or even institutional role-playing setting should be administered by someone who surely wants to cause some discomfort to the bottom but not really break or hurt his body or mind permanently.
Perhaps one could say that there is a certain congruence between fantasy and real life top concerning their attitude towards the severity of the spanking.
In a judicial setting, where the fantasy top maybe doesn't even know the character played by the bottom personally and where even the top may be punished if his execution of the punishment is deemed insufficient, one could imagine that a punishment would only be stopped for medical reasons. So call me a whimp, but a Singapore style caning or flogging à la "The Passion of Christ" is not my cup of tea (my beer, as we say in Germany).
Finally, there should be some fun for both in it, even if the hardcore domestic discipline crowd will shun me for that statement. Hey, I play in my prescious leisure time, if I am happy to be able to walk on my own legs after the thrashing is over something's wrong for me. It's like going to the worst restaurant I can imagine and getting a food poisoning. Of course I am happy if I survive that, but why not go to a fine restaurant in the first place and enjoy a great dinner with my partner?
By the way, I would probably like a scenario where the bottom has done something that is morally right, but wrong on the paper. Maybe he got in a fight to defend someone who was harassed, maybe absence without leave because he had to help a friend.
The punishment could sound harsh when pronounced, but because the fantasy top has mercy and feels sympathy, the strokes are delivered moderately.
Excuse the long post, but I find this subject quite interesting. I am looking forward to your ideas.

Indy said...

For me, the arousal of being "In trouble" blunts the pain enough that a short, severe spanking is okay, as is a longer, more moderate one. I may or may not enjoy the during, but as long as I don't panic, it's fine.

I think it was role play that first made me understand what Ludwig meant when he told me that he finds bottoming arousing before and in retrospect, but not so much during.

Olli said...

Hi Kaelah and Ludwig,
at first I think that roleplay is not roleplay, what means that everybody has other - his own - imaginations about what roleplay means to himself.
Therefore I guess that the question isn't to be answered for anyone in any case.

When i'm spanked I like the pain my girlfriend spends on me and the "corporal component" turns me on, but the mental component of a play is what makes it for me before (and sometimes even after) the "session".
E.g. I learn during the day that I'll get a severe spanking that night - and to know that makes me dizzy for hours.

Following this experience, we created our own "rules" for roleplaying: in the morning or at any time during the day my girlfriend let me know what will happen that evening. Maybe she tells me when I give her a goodbye kiss when she leaves our flat, or she sends me an SMS-message or an email. For instance, she says "you nasty boy, tonight your aunt is waiting for you..." - so I know what roles are set (and, according to that we switch sometimes, which of them is mine).
In the evening when we get home we play our roles with a good mixture of humor and seriousness, getting "on" soon, keeping the level as long as possible - but when we come to the real spanking we "pause" the playing, I get my (for example) canestrokes (enjoying the pain, even not able to play a role...), and after the caning we're getting back into our roles.

Thats how we do roleplaying - we had need our time to find out "our way". I'm sure you'll find out "your way" because you seem to be an intelligent couple and you can talk to another...
Much fun! ;-)

Emma Bishop said...

Brilliant topic and observation Kaelah. I can completely relate to how in the search to make a roleplay scene convincing, it is easy to sacrifice your own needs not being met. I guess it depends on who it is with. In my case, if it is with my partner or someone very close personally then usually they know me well enough and my levels and expectations so it is easier to both get what you want out of a role pla,y and if not then you need to talk about it. If the role play is a way into where you want to go then do it, but if it is just mechanical and you think it sounds fun then it will probably just end up as fun rather than serious pleasure, so maybe you don't need it as an excuse or safety blanket in the first place?

However, when I do this professionally it falls into two categories; for 121s or for film. In a 121 with someone I may never have met before my job is to try and fulfil their fantasy role play. With a first time meeting as I do not usually know what their style is I would just play it very textbook, so I would start by playing up to the kind of safe thing you would see in a mild film scene, most usually schoolgirl/teacher type thing. I may exaggerate things if it is going too slow and do what I can to get a reaction from them, but when I have played with really good experienced Doms they usually very quickly get the measure of my levels just from my reaction and if not they increase the temperature a little and it becomes very real for me. Sometimes this has happened instantly as soon as they have met me socially beforehand, or from the moment they have lectured me, because some people just have the control and are able to manage the situation and take me where they want it to go because they also sense that it would be good for me too, and I probably need a real spanking anyway! It really depends on how they find my genuine submissiveness and how far I will give that to them in a scene. There is chemistry in any kind of role play, professionaly or otherwise.

In films I try and find out about my role first of all and place myself as a real person in those imaginary circumstances, like any other actress. I usually have some idea about why I am there and what for so I always try and give all of the real me to the scene after that and rely on the skill of my co-stars to be getting out of the scene what they need. Any acting is about chasing an objective and improvised spanking role play isn't really too different, except that the outcome is more typical (i.e the naughty girl ends up with a sore bottom!) but not the route to get there. In films I always start by totally believing in it and it is all 100% real to me like a flashback to a past life. I use a lot of personal emotional memory of situations where I have felt rejected or excluded and good co-stars/Doms/Dommes find that point and use it against me in their dialogue so I never really have time to think it is just acting or role play, because for me it really isn't...if that makes sense?!

In both cases though it depends on reacting to the other person, like any acting :)

Anyway, that's just my view on this, and I admit to taking role play too seriously sometimes, but that's the only way I know how to once I start. If not I would rather not do it, because acting is my true love anyway and the fact it has spanking in it sometimes is just a nice bonus :)


Kaelah said...

@ Fenris:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I'm with you about wanting to have fun since Ludwig and I don't do any domestic discipline, either. The fantasies which I have in mind are judicial ones, but with a sympathetic spanker and a spankee who didn't mean to do anything wrong. So, the punishment might be rather harsh because the rules and the necessity of keeping up law and order require it, but at the same time the spanker isn't cold or cruel, nor has he any intention to humiliate the spankee for his own pleasure. The setting of the scene is going to be a naval ship and I'm supposed to be a boy which really makes it a role-play scenario because I'm definitely not going to be me. One way of dealing with the severity problem which came to my mind might be the age-play factor. Since the spankee is supposed to be a younger cadet, the spanking could be only medium hard despite of the judicial character of the scene, because one could imagine that for a young cadet this is already severe enough. Well, we'll see! I'll surely write about it, once we tried it out.

@ Indy:
You mentioned a very important point there! Maybe a slow build-up of the scene before the spanking starts can help me to get into the right mindset. In addition to that I think I need somewhat longer breaks between strokes (more than somewhere between 1 to 5 seconds, which is Ludwig's normal speed) to give me a chance to catch my breath and not to panic. The breaks might also help me to get back into the scenario after having processed the pain.

It's interesting that you are able to enjoy role-play scenarios afterwards, even if you didn't enjoy the spanking itself. Hmm, but maybe that's just a matter of definition? I definitely enjoy the memory of my severe caning for Pandora's site, but I didn't enjoy the pain as it happened. In my definition I did enjoy the caning, though, because even when it happened I didn't panic, I had the feeling that I could deal with the strokes and I felt more and more empowered during the end, thinking: wow, now you are really bringing this special fantasy to life.

@ Olli:
Thank you very much for sharing your experiences! It seems like you and your girlfriend really found a role-play formula that works very well for both of you. The build-up and the aftermath are definitely important aspects of role-play, and I'm sure that Ludwig and I are going to find our own way here. I'll surely post about our experiences then!

@ Emma:
Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts on the topic! The only role-play experiences Ludwig and I have so far are in front of a camera. Like you said, the main focus then is to make the scenario and the characters real and convincing. Of course I'm not an experienced actress like you, but with me scenes also turned out best when I can bring in some of my own experiences and give a part of myself into the character I'm playing. In front of a camera I don't enjoy the kinky experience as it happens, though. My focus is on the final product, not so much on having kinky fun during the shoot.

The scene I was writing about in this post is a private one between Ludwig and me. And in that case, I of course want to enjoy the kinky experience when it happens. Usually Ludwig and I are just us in our private scenes, even if there is a fantasy setting in which the scene takes place. But this time I would like to play a male naval cadet who is supposed to be different from me and react differently than I normally do. I have had those special fantasies for years and they are very dear to me. I'm not sure whether I'll manage to get deeply enough into the character and the scenario to make the real scene feel as hot as the fantasy, though. That's why I think so much about how to make it work.

Fenris said...

@ Kaelah:
That is quite an interesting scenario. Did you get any inspirations from a book or movie?
Scenarios in the 19th century are most appealing to me. One idea would be to role-play a servant in a household or a big country mansion and to take the punishment for a maid who has done something wrong. I really like the romantic and chivalrous stuff. You probably remember the scene from Tom Sawyer when he takes the punishment for his sweetheart Becky after she ruined the teacher's book with ink. OK, in my perverted version, some aftercare by the pretty maid as expression of her gratitude could very well be included...
I wish you, Ludwig and all readers of this fine blog a happy new year and the fulfillment of all your spanking phantasies.

Emma Bishop said...

Kaelah..Happy new year to you both first of all!

I totally get what you mean but as you say when you are filming "My focus is on the final product".
A lot of people see role play as giving a performance and worrying about how it turns out. That's fine and normal, it can be that, it all depends on how much you are willing to show or give of yourself as you go along I think? Do you care if you look ugly or scared, throw up with fear or cry? I don't go as far as that in 121's with people I don't know too well (but have done and may do again, but that's not up to me always)... but I always do in films or with close partners if it works that way sometimes. I tend to find it works better if I don't know someone too well but they are on the same wavelength.

I always try and find realism in role play by taking it moment-to moment, which I admit is something I was taught in acting school recently but works in any kind of serious role play too.

Never think about the final outcome but just go with the words as they happen and engage with the other person, look at their eyes and really listen. If you are seeking kinky fun and what you will get out of it at the end then you may be holding back or steering the role play until it gives you just that. I always let myself believe that anything could happen and I prefer not to know the sequence of steps the other person will take. Find out about who you are and how you are FEELING.

It is always about what you are feeling as your character. Is she or he confident, blase, angry, bitter, resentful, hurt, let down, afraid, lonely, looking for reassurance etc. Start with the feeling and let it change as the scene changes and listen to the words from the other person to influence how you feel. I am writing this bit from my view (sub) but equally a Dom could feel power, authority, strong, let down or scared in his character too, both characters have feelings...and so do you.

Isn't that the way it happens in real life? You go in with an open mind and a loose script of your life plan and people you meet will say or do things to change how you feel?! Just live each moment and if you both give enough it will feel as real as you want it to be.

Don't ever think of it as a game or a role play because it will always be just that....unless you want it to be an erotic fun game of course with stops and starts, which is wonderful too!.
It all depends on what you see as enjoyment. To me acting and going into the unknown with another character is all the heaven I need usually.

It seems to me you two are making such great stuff and being so open to each other that you have all you need anyway and that's perfect!

Kaelah said...

@ Fenris:
The inspiration came from films and was most probably mixed up with scenes from books as well. Taking a punishment for someone else is always a great scenario! For me especially when the spanker knows about the innocence of the spankee as well and therefore is sympathetic. We have made a fun scene with Pandora Blake and her partner Tom which goes a bit into that direction. It will hopefully be published for free some time this year.

@ Emma:
I guess what Ludwig are up to this time is what you call an erotic fun game not a completely serious role-play. What I want to try is to imagine the scenario and partly go into the character but at the same time enjoy the erotic tension underneath and not really feel completely miserable like my character might. And while that might be less serious than "real" role-play, I'm not sure whether I'll manage to find the right balance that will give me the erotic thrill I'm looking for.